As we are all very well aware, the world of marketing is changing each and every day as we all know it. What was prominent just a few years ago is now antiquated and practically obsolete. Everything is changing, especially the future of marketing for blue-collar small businesses.
What is a Blue-Collar Business?
Blue collar businesses, in many ways, are the heart of the U.S. economy. They are the plumbers, roofers, landscapers, cabinet makers, auto mechanics, home builders, etc. And when I’m not blogging on The Sales Lion, my real job falls under this blue-collar label as well—that of swimming pool builder.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve witnessed a great change in the way my company, as well as other pool companies, are marketing. Frankly, because blue-collar businesses are often owned by ‘non-computer savvy’ persons, internet and content marketing has not been a focus of mine or just about any other blue-collar field. But like all aspects to running a business, the mind of today’s consumer is now changing the way it researches products, which in-turn is causing many of these blue-collar business owners to wake up and begin to embrace Web 2.0 and other content marketing strategies.
The Magic of Remarkable Content
To give you an example, in March of 2009 my company started the first serious inground swimming pool blog on the internet. Based on the trends we were seeing, we wanted to become ‘though-leaders’ in our field and therefore gain the respect and trust of our potential clients. After only a short time of producing quality content and how-to videos on our company blog (2-3 posts per week), the website soon exploded with traffic and leads and is now light years ahead of where it was 2 years ago. In fact, our website went from practically unknown to the top of our industry simply because it is now a hub of helpful swimming pool information.
Because our competitors and other pool installers have now seen the impact this has had on our business swimming pool blogs are popping up left and right all over North America as these blue-collar business owners are now starting to realize that they either need to jump on board the content bandwagon or be left behind by their competitors.
The Old Way is Broken
Realistically, this transition of old-school, ‘mom and pop’ companies is yet in its infancy, but there is no doubt that most small business are waking up to the need of a serious paradigm change in terms of the way they market, brand, and present themselves to today’s consumer. No longer can they just count on word of mouth to meet their goals. No longer can they allow their website to be a glorified business card with little or no value for the reader. Nope, the old way just won’t do any longer.
Fact is, these blue-collar business owners must become teachers. They must be willing to give information. And if they don’t? Well, as many are now realizing, consumers will keep looking until they find a company that cares enough to truly give them remarkable and valuable content regarding their products.
A New Paradigm
So what does this all mean for the plumber, carpenter, electrician, well-driller, tree remover, etc, etc? It means they now need to see the world from their customer’s point of view and not their own. It means they need to learn to love teaching. It means they need to stop being afraid of web design and understand that because of CMS (content management systems) technology, the most non-computer savvy small business owner can now take charge of his or her website and marketing. No longer is “I’m just not good with computers.” a legitimate excuse. Again, either business owners embrace the wonders of technology and use the incredible tools they’ve been given, or they will continue to scratch their heads as they over-spend on antiquated marketing mediums and see less and less results.
I sincerely believe we live in the greatest time ever to be a small business owner. More than ever before, no matter our skill level, can we take control of our destinies. By simply moving past my ‘blue-collar/ I can’t do computers’ mentality, the life of my business has never been more prosperous and enjoyable, and I can only hope that other business owners in this massive economy embrace the future as well.
About the author:
Marcus Sheridan, along with his two partners, owns River Pools and Spas, a HubSpot client and one of the largest inground swimming pool companies in the country. You can follow Marcus’ innovative sales and inbound marketing strategies for small businesses at his incredibly popular blog, The Sales Lion. Marcus was a guest during this year's first blogging webinar.